President: Ocean Reeve
Vice president: Susan Johnston
Treasurer: Marisa Parker
Secretary: Beverley Streater
Membership secretary: Jackie Moore
Social media manager: Sam Colbran
Newsletter editor: Kerri Yarsley
Webmaster: Karen Knight-Mudie
Providore: Jenny Old
Speaker coordinator: Vacant
Events Coordinator: Vacant
Competition coordinator: Vacant
General committee members: Bronwyn Houldsworth, Gavin Fisher
Read about current committee members below
Ocean Reeve – President
Ocean is committed to facilitating the creative process in all who are willing to express themselves through the written word. With the belief that we are all born with a desire to be creative, Ocean operates a defined, dedicated and determined process to bring a book to life and if desired, build a profitable future from this expression of creativity.
Ocean’s 20 year career in the creative arts has been one he has great respect and gratitude for. Following a successful 6 years in Film & Television, Ocean spent a year in nightclub promotion before beginning his publishing road. Beginning as a Digital Production Manager for an educational publisher, Ocean was soon promoted into a sales role which quickly developed into Sales Manager for both the educational and traditional arm of Zenith Publishing Group.
As the internet took its grip over the creative arts industries, Ocean was integral in the development and management of New Zealand’s premier self-publishing house, PublishMe, and following a six month stint as a Radio Host, successfully graduating with a Diploma in Creative Writing, becoming a qualified Workflow Trainer and being nominated and winning two National Awards for Service to Authors, Ocean departed New Zealand to expand his creative reach into Australia.
Six years into his new life in Australia and Ocean has now introduced an established and fruitful marketing platform where authors not only achieve their vision of bringing a book to life, but also promote and market their published works with amazing results. He has played a major role in the birth of InHouse Publishing in Queensland and believes that in this current landscape of creative expression, it is the vision and legacy of the author that has to be the paramount focus.
Susan Johnston – Vice President
Susan Jane is a Published Author, Professional Speaker, Life/Business Coach and organiser for the Personal Growth Expo.
Susan’s life changed dramatically when her 20 year marriage ended and she had to discover who she really was and what she really wanted. Susan had a lot of experience connecting with people. She was nominated for Australian Citizen of the Year, but things were different in this high Tech era. She went back to university in 2009, studying a Public Health degree fulltime and working three part time jobs. However, six months after she graduated from her three year degree, the government changed hands and all Health Promotion positions were made redundant. Susan didn’t know what to do, she wasn’t a spring chicken any longer and felt extremely out of her depth.
Deep down Susan knew there was still a lot more she could offer this world and so she set about to prove it. On a shoestring budget, and with strong faith in her ability, she started writing, formatting and publishing her first book. Oh boy did she make some huge mistakes but it is because of these mistakes that she now has the experience of helping others, not make the same ones she did.
Susan has spent over 30 years developing, educating and encouraging people to grow, trust and utilise their Intuition enabling them to make sound decisions or choices that are in line with their true core values. Joining the Gold Coast Writers Association was one of those intuitive decisions that naturally led her to the Vice President’s position. Being in this position she hopes to assist the president in taking the association to a new level, bring in more members and grow our reputation to the wider audience.
Marisa Parker – Treasurer
Marisa is the debut author of the award winning book, GOODBYE To Italia – the story of her parents during WW2 in Italy and Africa.
Marisa was born in Zimbabwe, Africa – although it was called Rhodesia back in the day! Along with her husband and two children, they left Africa in 2000 and went to live in New Zealand for six years before moving to Queensland, Australia which is now our home.
Since moving to Australia in 2006, Marisa has undertaken study as a mature-age student whilst working full-time at the University of Southern Queensland. She completed her first book in 2016 and plans to publish a second book in 2017. It’s been a tough journey but worth all the challenges.
Beverley Streater – Secretary
As a career public servant, Beverley has been a coal-face worker, service coordinator, manager and senior advisor in the field of human services, particularly disability services.
She developed a strong appreciation for effective communication within and across organisations – via the web, internally, through social media and face to face. In her corporate role, she designed technical communications (media releases, briefs, speeches) for a range of stakeholders. Beverley was project-lead through a number of organisational changes, where communication was the key to reassuring and retaining affected personnel. She continues to share this expertise by offering assistance to organisations in the area of strategic planning and change management, where effective communication is vital. In recent times, Beverley has turned her attention to looking at the needs of older women, who are approaching the transition to retirement, through her dedicated blog, Classic Women. She writes about relationships, solutions for maintaining fitness and health, and provides inspiring stories about remarkable women who daily balance their roles as mother, daughter, grandmother, partner, friend, volunteer.
As a writer, Beverley currently contributes via her blog, social media, book reviews, and has been published in the online magazine, Broad.
As a freelance editor, she offers encouragement, support, guidance and editing to local writers.
Beverley volunteers as a local Justice of the Peace, and as Secretary of the GCWA. In her free time, she loves exercising at the Palm Beach Aquatic Centre, reads voraciously, and releases her creative muse through the Palm Beach Stitchers’ Group.
Jackie Moore – Membership Secretary
Jackie has enjoyed several varied chapters in her life.
She began her professional career as a skin care therapist in the late 70’s, working with a vibrant team at a renowned health spa in South Africa.
She then changed direction in order to pursue her passion for handwriting analysis and forensic handwriting examination, lecturing and practicing in this field for the better part of a decade.
In 2013 she made the decision to leave South Africa in order to relocate to the Gold Coast, Australia.
Today she focuses her energies on her love of words, developing a somewhat dormant talent for creative writing.
To date, she had completed a children’s chapter book, which she hopes to have published soon, as well as several short stories, one of which won the ‘Mona Brand Short Story Commended Award 2015.’ She is currently busy on her second book.
Sam Colbran – Social Media Manager
With thirty-one years of creating, writing, and storytelling as a hobby, Samuel thought it was time to fulfil a dream of long-standing inspiration. In 2015, he quit his job as a chef of seventeen years, due to several factors—one being as full-time carer for his mother, and another factor being lack of creative opportunities in his life.
Over the last two years, he has accumulated many relationships in the writing world that have led him to become a mentor, public speaker, teacher, and promoter of fellow authors. Samuel also volunteers his time for various writing groups situated on the Gold Coast. Such groups include Gold Coast Novel Writers, WritersActivation, and he has just been re-elected as Social Media Manager for the Gold Coast Writers’ Association.
Along with publishing a series of short reads—FableLands—Samuel continues the development of his first major novel Lake Merrin.
Kerri Yarsley – Newsletter Editor
Kerri Yarsley was born in Melbourne, Australia in the late ’50’s. She studied Biochemistry, Microbiology, Education, and Computers at university. After marriage, Kerri worked as a Systems Programmer and attained Fitness Leader’s qualifications and trained in marital arts.
Kerri and Frank had four children in six years, so Kerri changed into documenting which was more easily done from a home base. Over two decades later Kerri is still enjoying writing and learning new things. She has more recent diplomas in Business and Project Management, and has also studied a variety of interests including piano, chanter, guitar, flute, oil painting, singing, bee keeping, Taekwondo, Aikido and Kung Fu weapons, such as the sai, short sticks, long staff, nunchaku and straight sword.
Kerri loves peaceful forest surroundings occasionally disrupted by her chooks, dog and multiple wild birds, including finches, scrub turkeys and black cockatoos. She loves vegetarian food and her lifestyle reflects her love and respect of all life.
In 2011, Kerri wrote “The Instruction Manual for Kids – Parent’s Edition” because there wasn’t one, and it seemed to be needed more and more. Later years have seen title become available in eBook and audiobook formats.
Karen Knight-Mudie (PhD) – Webmaster
With the advent of technology and immediate access to information, many people lament loss of face-to-face contact—Karen offers a personal approach. As an artist, educator and writer, Karen walks her talk. She has a rural background and has ransacked the library of life from sitting by a campfire in Kakadu, bringing up children in Vanuatu, and later taking them to school in London. Karen loves telling stories using images to capture landscapes across Australia, and words to express experiences, pass on knowledge, and recount tales of people and places. She has extensive experience in teaching, public speaking, and presentation of academic papers at national conferences.
As a writer, Karen has published textbooks, instructional videos, and numerous scholarly papers. Recent novels include, Yarns From Yandilla; Exploring Anzac: In the Wake of Gallipoli (joint author), and Boy From Bullamooluka. She has just completed Moonlighting in Moffatt—the true story of the bushrangers, Paddy and Jimmy Kenniff. Her current writing investigates how technological advancement affects human behaviour, and the environment.
As an artist, Karen has held many solo exhibitions across Australia. She was the first woman artist invited to join “Artists in the Field”, Kakadu, a programme initiated by Dr Colin Jack-Hinton, then Director, MAGNT, and the late Frank Hodgkinson.
For Karen, words and images are intrinsic soul-mates. Thus, when writing Karen thinks visually, and when painting she draws on literature for inspiration.
Jenny Old – Providore
From an early age I always knew I wanted to write a book. When I arrived at “McAllister” as a new bride at twenty-two years of age, a bare block of land in the remote Gulf Country of North Queensland, I knew I had my subject!!
I was born in Deniliquin a long time ago, where I spent an idyllic childhood on a small intensive farm, attending the Deniliquin Public School for my Primary education. Life was a breeze until I was sent to MLC in Sydney to board for my secondary schooling. I was desperately homesick, but worked hard and achieved good results. I was grateful for the high academic standard and the subjects on offer. English, Biology, French, (Maths I loathed), Art and Architecture, Music and both Ancient and Modern History. This gave me a passion for travel and all things creative.
I completed my nursing training at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and then embarked on an overseas adventure for a year, the subject of my next book!
On my return, I married Rick and moved to the very primitive block of ‘nothing’ and lived in a shed. The following eighteen years were an amazing experience as we developed “McAllister”. You will have to read the book.
It took ten years for me to complete the manuscript, fitting my writing in with the rest of my life. I independently published the book with Ocean Reeve in May 2016 and set off on a marketing campaign, selling 2000 books in nine months and having a ball, visiting all my old haunts, friends and family. I now have a contract with Allen&Unwin which is very exciting.
I’m looking forward to working on the committee and giving back to others embarking on the same journey. I hope my sandwiches will be up to standard, but believe me, I’ve had plenty of training and practice in this department!
Thank you for offering me this opportunity.
Bronwyn Houldsworth – General Committee Member
Bronwyn’s from the Hawkesbury, north-west of Sydney. Growing up surrounded by history influenced her writing choices. In primary school, her essay about Anzac Day was published in the local newspaper and won her a trophy.
Life intervened. After high school and business college, she became a secretary, then joined the navy as a writer, a misnomer for what was essentially a clerk-typist. Secretarial and clerical positions in private enterprise and the public service followed, then administrative and research work after she attained a BA in Sociology and Politics. She began writing articles for newspapers and magazines, mostly about history and travel, often illustrated with photographs taken by her partner, a professional photographer.
The couple ran a press photography business. Bronwyn’s favourite assignments involved the documentation of historic buildings, from Tasmania to Queensland.
She attended the initial Romance Writers of Australia conference. She’d finally found her vocation: writer of (mostly historical) romance. Several of her short stories were published, one in an RWA anthology, another a finalist in a national competition. Her book reviews appeared in magazines.
Bronwyn kept writing, through a sea change that saw a move from Canberra to the NSW Northern Rivers, where she worked in a museum and farmed bush tucker and beef cattle. With her partner she bred and successfully raced thoroughbred horses.
They moved to the Gold Coast seventeen years ago. Now, via assisted publishing, Bronwyn’s released several short stories as ebooks. A historical romance inspired by an eighteenth century family scandal is being released in ebook and print formats. It’s called The Heart Has Its Reasons.
Life gets more and more interesting!
Gavin Fisher – General Committee Member
Gavin was born in South Africa. He studied there and worked as an architect and project manager before relocating to New Zealand where he lived for seven years with his wife and two daughters.
He also enlisted as a volunteer paramedic for several years and served with the National Sea Rescue Institute on numerous rescue missions. Other interests include flying and scuba diving.
Gavin now resides in the Gold Coast with his wife, Caroline, and currently works for an award-winning construction company as a contracts administrator.
Favourite quote: Fiction [fik-shuhn] – A literary work that avoids letting the truth get in the way of a good story.